Background: Along with significant case transmission, hospitalizations, and mortality experienced during the global COVID-pandemic, there existed a disruption in the delivery of health care across multiple specialties.
Objective: The aim of our review was to analyse the possible relationship between COVID-infection and amputations. Methods We conducted a 2-year retrospective cohort study with prospective long-term follow-up of all diabetic patients admitted for a foot lesion at 353-bed, nonprofit, faith-based teaching hospital. Study variables included patient demographics and clinical parameters related to infection and diabetes. The average follow-up after hospital discharge was 2 years. Failure of conservative treatment was the main outcome measure. Independent predictor variables were selected by logistic regression analysis.
Results: A total of 849 consults were identified for use in the study, 356 consults for 20 and 493 consults for 2021. We excluded trauma/noninfectious consults. This represents a 38% increase in the number of podiatric consults over the time frame. On average, 42% of consults required podiatric surgical intervention for management/prevention of infection in 2021 compared to 44% in 2019. Amputation rates have fallen from 37.08% to 32.45% from 20to 2021. Rates of minor amputations decreased from 22.75% to 19.07%, rates of moderate amputations decreased from 5.06% to 4.87%, rates of major amputations decreased from 9.27% to 8.52% from 20to 2021, respectively.
Conclusion: The effect of the pandemic on the health-care system has had a deleterious effect on people with diabetes-related foot problems resulting in more severe infections, more emergencies, and necessitating more amputations.